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George Vlahakis
University Communications

Last modified: Friday, February 26, 2010

Former president of One Laptop Per Child to speak at IU's Kelley School on March 5

Feb. 26, 2010

Editors: To speak with Bryan Stuart, contact George Vlahakis at 812-855-0846 or

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Two Indiana University student organizations are welcoming Charles Kane, former president and currently a board member of One Laptop Per Child, to speak next Friday (March 5) at Indiana University's Kelley School of Business.

One Laptop per Child

One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) is an international non-profit organization devoted to empowering the children of developing countries to learn by providing a connected laptop to every school-age child.

Kane will speak about the organization and his experiences at 2 p.m. in room 109 of the Business Building, 1309 E. 10th St. He also will discuss student internship opportunities with OLPC. The event is free and open to the public.

Kane is being hosted by Civic Leadership Development (CLD), a service learning organization within Kelley, and the Bloomington campus chapter of One Here One There, a non-profit organization that promotes education in sub-Saharan Africa.

One Laptop Per Child resulted from a 2002 project by Massachusetts Institute of Technology Professor Nicholas Negroponte, who experienced first-hand how connected laptops transformed the lives of children and their families in a remote Cambodian village. This led to the foundation of One Laptop per Child, and the creation of the XO laptop.

Helping to bring Kane to campus is Bryan Stuart, an IU senior from Indianapolis majoring in business economics/public policy and mathematics, who began working with OLPC last spring and interned with the organization in Africa last summer.

Teams of university students from around the world were given 100 laptops and an operating budget in a program called OLPCorps. The teams partnered with local non-governmental organizations (NGO) or schools to distribute the laptops. Stuart helped to select and oversee 30 teams and in early June helped direct a 10-day training program in Kigali, Rwanda. Students learned how to set up laptops and servers and how to address various education and cultural issues. Eight IU students were among the 122 interns working in 18 African countries.

"It was a lot of work, but it couldn't have been a better experience," the Cathedral High School graduate said. "The laptop is a tool for education, and when you're providing that to children who before have had very limited access to both technology and educational materials, you can just see their faces light up as the world opens up before them.

"Seeing people from such different countries unite in this common mission was quite special," he added, "particularly since this was the first time that OLPC really had such a mass of young volunteers -- you could really feel the momentum."

In addition to visiting Kelley, Kane recently has visited business schools at the University of California-Berkeley, Carnegie-Mellon University, Stanford University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is expected to discuss his own experiences with One Laptop Per Child as well as how he has leveraged his previous corporate experiences to the effort.

Before joining One Laptop Per Child, Kane had been executive vice president and chief administrative officer of Global BPO Services Corp., chief financial officer at RSA Security, chief financial officer at Aspen Technology, and president and CEO of Corechange Inc. He also served in executive management roles at Informix Software and Ardent Software and senior financial management positions at Stratus Computer Inc., Prime Computer Inc. and Deloitte and Touche.

A certified public accountant, Kane is a senior lecturer of international finance at the Sloan Graduate School of Management at MIT.

"I think people will be able to take away a much broader message of how to effectively drive change, if it's something that you're passionate about," Stuart said of next week's event.

More information about One Laptop Per Child is available at